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If memory serves correct, Wal-Mart lost the particular lawsuit I was referring to. In any case, Alex does make a legitimate point: A union can be much more reliable in enforcing labor laws than simply trying to go through the court system every time.
Quote: It is alleged that Wal-Mart's salaried managers have pressured hourly employees to work "off-the-clock" in order to avoid overtime pay.
As of the time of submission of Wal-Mart's 10-Q Report for the quarterly period ended October 31, 2005, the company faced "numerous cases containing class-action allegations in which the plaintiffs have brought claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), corresponding state statutes, or other laws. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are current and former hourly Associates who allege, among other things, that the Company forced them to work “off the clock,” or failed to provide work breaks, or otherwise claim they were not paid for work performed."
Wal-Mart's 10-Q further details that "Class certification has yet to be addressed in a majority of the cases. Class certification has been denied or overturned in cases pending in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Some or all of the requested classes have been certified in cases pending in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Conditional certifications for notice purposes under the FLSA have been allowed in cases in Georgia, Michigan, and Texas."
In 2000, Wal-Mart paid $50 million to settle a class-action suit that asserted that 69,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees in Colorado had worked off-the-clock. These employees, as well as several former managers, have testified that Wal-Mart had an unofficial policy requiring off-the-clock work, to keep the cost of payroll down.
Class-action suits were filed in 1995 on behalf of full-time Wal-Mart pharmacists whose base salaries and working hours were reduced as sales declined, resulting in the pharmacists being treated like hourly employees. Initial judgments ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but an appeal by Wal-Mart resulted in the cases being remanded to a lower court in February 2005 due to insufficient evidence that Wal-Mart committed the offense often enough that the salaries were equivalent to hourly wages.
Quote: Redstorm said: Just because Wal-Mart is sued doesn't mean that the suits brought are actually won by the plaintiff. Losing in a legal battle means you've done something wrong, not merely being sued.
Yeah but lets get real. The number of employees of Walmart who have the time and money to take a multi-billion dollar corporation to court is going to be pretty small. The number who can beat the best lawyers money can buy is going to be even smaller. And even if they do win the punishment of a few thousand dollars in fines won't mean jackshit to Walmart.
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